In early 2022 when I was asked to have a stall at the Make and Mend Festival at Ormesby Hall, Middlesbrough, I was so excited. Not only because I knew it was going to be a fabulous event but also because it gave me the opportunity to expand my range into Teesside and North Yorkshire, a part of the North East I didn't know a whole lot about if I'm truthful!
So after doing some research into the area, I decided that the stunning Saltburn pier and cliff tramway was a great place to start my Teeside cross stitch journey, and so the Amusements On The Pier cross stitch kit was born!
I released the Saltburn cross stitch kit at Make & Mend Festival and the reaction was just gorgeous. Quite possibly my favourite part of my 'job' is hearing what these places mean to people, and so it was wonderful to hear people describe Saltburn as their favourite place, tell me about how much Saltburn Pier meant to them and their loved ones, detail memories of days out at Saltburn beach in their youth.
After listening to everyone rave about the place, and after researching it for the kit instruction leaflet, I couldn't wait to visit! So when Brambles Gift Shop in Saltburn put in their first wholesale order of kits, I had the excuse I'd been waiting for! On quite possibly one of the most gloriously sunny days of the year, we headed down the A19 to sunny Saltburn-by-the-Sea!
Parking in Saltburn-by-the-Sea
There are a number of seafront carparks in Saltburn, including the aptly named Seafront Car Park at the top of the cliff and the Cat Nab Car Park at the bottom, both of which would have required payment, however, after driving around both for approximately 20minutes waiting for a space, we gave up and drove back into the centre of the town where we found free parking on a residential street just a short walk from Saltburn Station. Coming from a popular seaside town myself, I know this isn't ideal for residents, however I also know how much local businesses in these towns rely on tourism. So next time I would definitely try the paid carparks first, or even look into public transport. Saltburn Station is the final stop on the Tees Valley Line which links with the East Coast Mainline at Darlington.
Stock Drop at Brambles Gift Shop
Once parked we headed straight to Brambles Gift Shop on Station Street to drop off their wholesale order of Saltburn cross stitch kits. I always love meeting new stockists, particularly those that have the same passion for quality products and representing their local area as I do. Michelle at Brambles was no exception! I will write a full blog introducing Brambles Gift Shop as a stockist, but for now, here's a picture of their shop looking glorious in the sun!
Lunch at Signals
On the recommendation of fellow small biz owner and Saltburn native, That Design Studio, we then headed straight over the road to Signals, a cafe and bar next to Saltburn Station, primarily because the idea of 'Parmo Loaded Fries' sounded too good to miss.... and they were! Holy moly these were divine.
For those who don't know a Parmo is a Teesside delicacy consisting of breaded chicken covered in béchamel sauce and cheese and OMG, that on top of herby fries was just delightful.
We did make the mistake however of getting one serving each and not finishing them because the portions are massive, so would probably only get one between the two of us next time! I also had one of their Defence smoothies which was perfectly refreshing on such a hot day.... and the healthiness of it made me feel slightly better after eating my weight in chips, chicken and cheese! Signal has indoor seating, but as it was such a lovely day we chose to sit outside. We chose to sit in the sun but there was also seats in the shade for those who find the heat a little uncomfortable. The outdoor area is set far enough away from the road that you forget you're on a street, and the flowers, plants and decor is lovely!
Walk to the Sea Front
After lunch we strolled (or should I say waddled while clutching our food filled bellies) down Dundas Street towards The Zetland... mainly so I could bore Jonnie with stories of it's grand past! Did you know that when Saltburn was first developed into a high class Victorian seaside resort, the train line continued into The Zetland Hotel so the first class guests could alight on their own private railway platform?!
We then walked along Marine Parade which has stunning views down the coast to Huntcliff. Then, arriving at the top of the cliff lift, to my crafters delight we found a series of knitted bollard toppers, and the cutest bunting made of knitted knickers!
Saltburn Cliff Lift
For a girl who gets giddily excited when riding on the trams at Beamish, traveling down the cliff towards Saltburn Beach in the stunningly Victorian Funicular Railway was quite possibly my favourite part of the day! It was only £1.50 for an adult ticket (see HERE for all up to date prices) though do make sure you have cash on you as they don't take card!
Those working the lift were well informed, passionate and dressed splendidly in Victorian train conductor style outfits. The engineering was fascinating to watch, the interior was stunning with it's wooden seating and panelling and stained glass windows, and the views were breathtaking. I genuinely couldn't stop grinning the whole time I was in there!
Once we got to the bottom we exited through the little cliff lift station building which sits so prettily on the promenade.
Walking Saltburn Pier
Once we had sourced coffee from one of the little shops to our right as we left the cliff lift (I can't remember the name sorry but they gave us a free donut with each coffee which was nice but reeeeeally not needed after the parmo fries!) we stopped and watched the donkey rides for a short time before heading for the pier.
While there are no 'attractions' on the pier past the amusements, like there were in the pier's early days, it's still a lovely (albeit windy) walk. There are benches along the pier so you can sit and enjoy the views of the North East Coast which stretch South to Huntcliff and North to Redcar. At the time we visited there was also a lovely Sunflower memorial display by Teesside Hospice along the pier, each sunflower a tribute to lost loved ones.
The best view, however, was when we turned back. Stunning Saltburn beach, the amusements, the promenade, the cliff lift and the grand houses on the cliff top make for one spectacular scene. And it's for this reason I chose this view for my Saltburn cross stitch kit!
Walk to the Beach Huts
Once back on the promenade we turned right and headed past the rather fancy public toilets and showers, the mini golf, and the fish and chip shop before getting to the beautiful bright beach huts. We didn't hire the beach huts this day, but we managed to have a sneaky look inside those that had been left open and they looked lovely and like they had everything you might need! For a day on the beach, particularly with a family, I would definitely consider hiring them. You can find more info about hiring the beach huts at Saltburn HERE.
The lemon on top
After having a good old nosey at the beach huts, and a brief sit in the sun taking in the views, we headed south again towards the amusements to get ice cream before home time. Now we all know I'm partial to a 99' with flake and 'monkeys blood' (red sauce)... but how, when visiting this part of the North East, could I NOT get a lemon top!
I've never had one before but have heard from many a Teessider how amazing they are... and boy were they right! Topping off a fantastic day at the Teesside Seaside on one of the hottest days of the year with a soft Mr Whippy ice cream topped with lemon sorbet was nothing short of perfect.
Saltburn-by-the-Sea.... would 100% recommend!